Vasilije Josip Jordan
By 1973, when he first had an individual exhibition at the Modern Gallery and thus entered the history of modern Croatian painting, Vasilije Josip Jordan had already made some dozen individual appearance all around the country as it then was and had three very important shows in Brussels and Antwerp. We might say that the European dealers and audiences were capable of recognising – before those in his homeland – Jordan’s poetic surrealism and his highly individualised evocation of the painting heritage. Even after that monograph exhibition in the Modern Gallery, now almost four decades distant from us, the situation did not change a great deal, although it is clear that Jordan’s rapid and brilliant maturation, his creation of a distinctive and metaphysical idiom, his success and correspondence with European phenomena need tracking, assessing and integrating with full equality with the Croatian artistic practice of the time. Alain Bosquet, Stephane Rey, Paul Caso, Gérard Xuriguera, Giorgio Segato and others wrote of “une qualité exceptionnelle”; of the “oeuvres de Jordan au long de la muraille de rêve” (Le Soir); of Jordan’s painting as “une théâtre pour fantomes” (Le Figaro), placing him in anthologies of figurative painting of the 20th century (Les figurations de 1900 à nos jours, Editions Mayer, Paris) and promoted his paintings and memories at exhibitions in Brussels, Paris, Bologna, Padua, Milan and elsewhere. The retrospective exhibition of the painting oeuvre of Vasilije Josip Jordan, with a concept devised by Milan Bešlić and an exhibition layout by Biserka Rauter Plančić, will be an integral representation of the painter’s work with more than 100 oils, pastels, watercolours and drawings and is bound to be a painting celebration of the “very highest style” for which the Zagreb public has had to wait long indeed.